ADHD Symptoms Ambassador

This campaign is initiated
and funded by Takeda

Jenny Mclaughlin

I decided I wanted to be a role model for my son and show him ADHD is nothing to be afraid of

Before my diagnosis I felt like I didn’t fit in. I felt a little bit broken because I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do some seemingly simple tasks. I couldn’t keep to time or track of conversations, and I was always forgetting tasks and struggling to stay in contact with people. In some areas of my life, I excelled; I was able to see connections others couldn’t see and this led to people not fully understanding why I couldn’t stick to basic things like being on time.

Throughout my teens I had high anxiety, bouts of irritable bowel syndrome and migraines that led to a misdiagnosis of depression, but I would continually be back at the doctors when life would overwhelm me.

My GP always used to say that I was like a stick floating down a river and sometimes I’d get stuck; he would have to lift me out, getting me back on my way.

In hindsight, this was likely a symptom of my undiagnosed ADHD that neither of us could see.

My diagnosis started because my son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was seven. At the time we did a ‘post-diagnosis’ course through a children’s charity Barnardo’s. Sitting in the sessions to understand the support I could offer him, I ended up recognising so much of what they were telling me in myself. The facilitator played a video of a man talking about his ADHD and I looked at one of the other mums in the class – both of us seeing ourselves in every symptom he was saying. We were laughing through the video – to the class’s dismay, but I was just so comforted that it wasn’t just me.

The session with my son and bonding with the other mum in the class made me look back at my life and it was all so clear – ADHD really was staring back at me.

I decided I wanted to be a role model for my son and show him ADHD is nothing to be afraid of and I wanted an official diagnosis.

I am lucky to be able to go down the private route, so I booked an appointment with a private doctor, where I was diagnosed with ADHD.

It turns out that I wasn’t ready for the official diagnosis to hit me like it did, and I kept it to myself at the start. After a week, I made the decision to be open about it because I wouldn’t be able to help change the perception of ADHD if I kept it to myself.

I was hesitant to get the diagnosis at first because I didn’t know what it would add to my life but along the way I have learnt so much about myself. I was able to be a lot kinder to myself on the things I know I’m not going to be good at because of my ADHD but put in healthy parameters to deal with them. I have better relationships with my friends and family to help them understand what I go through daily and set the right expectations. Through receiving my diagnosis, I have opened myself up to opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without it!


South of England


Airport infrastructure


Aged 43


Key symptoms Time management, forgetfulness

Sound familiar?

Do these stories sound familiar to you? If so, you might want to consider speaking with your doctor about ADHD. Visit our symptoms page to learn more or download our discussion guide to help you prepare for your appointment..

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